12.01.2022 – 13:29
Axiom Space, Inc., the leader in manned spaceflight and infrastructure, announced Tuesday that it has welcomed Colonel Walter Villadei of the Italian Air Force (ItAF) to its Houston headquarters to attend the Johnson Space Center (JSC) NASA to begin astronaut training as part of Axiom’s professional astronaut services.
Through a partnership with KBR and NASA, Axiom, which trains and flies professional and private astronauts, is able to provide potential astronaut aspirants with access to NASA facilities, instructors and training. The flight candidates complete the Axiom curriculum over many months to prepare for life and important work in space.
“I am delighted to be starting my professional astronaut training at Axiom after my qualification as a cosmonaut,” said Colonel Villadei between Italy and the US, creating new opportunities in technology development and opportunities for new generations of scientists and engineers. As Axiom’s first international astronaut intern, I am honored to help build a closer relationship between Axiom and Italy. “
Axiom Space and the Italian Air Force signed a contract on November 1, 2021 that lays the foundation for Colonel Villadei’s preparation for a future Axiom research mission.
Villadei’s training adds another dimension to an important and growing partnership between Italy and Axiom Space. The Italian company Thales Alenia Space, which has a wealth of experience in manned space travel – including building modules for the International Space Station – is currently building the primary structure for the first two modules of the world’s first commercial space station from Axiom. Both modules will be transported to Houston in order to install all operational subsystems and to be equipped for crew and scientific use before the planned start in 2024 and 2025.
Further discussions with Italian officials are ongoing to support a broader collaboration with Italian industry and a substantial stake in the Axiom Station, the launch and operation of which will open up new markets in low-earth orbit – a key step in creating a sustainable space industry, which enables the exploration of the moon and Mars.
“Italy’s contribution to space travel and its relationship with the United States go back decades and will continue into the future as a key partner of Axiom,” said Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom commercial spaceflight, starting with Colonel Villadei’s training, and look forward to future agreements that deepen that relationship as we work together to advance near-earth orbit colonization and commercialization for scientific and technological development. “
About Axiom Space
Axiom Space, the leading provider of human space services and developer of manned space infrastructure, is guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that everyone can benefit from, anywhere. Axiom, founded in 2016, is opening up new markets in near-earth orbit by conducting end-to-end missions to the International Space Station and privately developing its successor – an enduring commercial target in Earth orbit that supports human growth off the planet and brings undreamt-of benefits back home.
Original content by: Axiom Space, transmitted by news aktuell